Grading Policy Approved, Exam Weight Retained

March 25, 2003
The Montgomery County Board of Education last night [Monday, March 24] approved revisions to the policy on grading and reporting to strengthen efforts in “maintaining rigorous performance and achievement standards for all students,” and retained the current weight of semester exams for core high school courses at 25 percent of the final grade.

The revised policy marks a significant step forward in efforts by the Montgomery County Public Schools to provide “a fair process for evaluating and reporting student progress that is understandable to students and their parents and relevant for instructional purposes.”

The adoption of the new policy sets the foundation for the development of revised administrative regulations regarding grading and reporting at the local school level. The Board provided feedback to staff on the proposed operational framework for the regulations, taking specific votes on three main issues.

The major issue was the proposed change in the weight of semester exams for the five core high school courses that correspond to the Maryland High School Assessments (i.e., Algebra 1, Biology, English 9, Geometry, and NSL Government). The proposed change was to raise the weight of the exam grade from 25 percent to 30 percent of the final grade. The Board voted to keep the current weight of 25 percent.

Regarding proposed changes in loss of credit practices at high schools, the Board opted to make no changes while a workgroup is convened to review the current attendance policy and make recommendations for any changes in attendance regulations.

The final major action concerned credit for high school courses taken in middle school. The Board endorsed the recommendation for allowing transcript credit and grades for middle school students taking high school courses (i.e., foreign language, Algebra 1, and Geometry). However, middle school students can retake such courses in high school, with the higher grade being reported on the transcript.

Note: In an article today, The Washington Post incorrectly reported that the Board had approved the higher weight of 30 percent for the final exams. This error and others in the article are to be corrected in tomorrow's edition [Wednesday, March 26], according to an editor from the newspaper. A correction appears today on the newspaper's website.

<<Back to browse